Plastic Bags and the Recycling and Reuse Scam

Back in 2014, the California Legislature passed Senate Bill 207, which banned grocery stores from offering customers “single-use” carryout bags. Permanent implementation was delayed by a November 2016 voter referendum, Proposition 67, which unsuccessfully attempted to repeal the measure. Today it is well-established law.

The only way SB 207 was sold to the grocery industry was through an incentive that permitted them to keep the 10 cents per “reusable” bag that they would be required to charge customers.

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13 Responses to Plastic Bags and the Recycling and Reuse Scam

  1. joe says:

    Why is it that everything that comes out of california sucks?

    • Tom MacGyver says:

      It’s probably due to all of the sucky people who moved into the state and made it what it is today! Watch out, Texas. You’re going down the same path, unfortunately…

    • Censusdesignatedplace says:

      We gave the world Charles Manson and The Beach Boys. What more do you want from us?

  2. Griffin says:

    Paper bags come from trees..last I saw..trees grow back!

  3. SgtBob says:

    But, but … Science! And, and …Feelings! (Which reminds me of a post on a web site from a woman — trust me, it was a woman — who said “it is a scientific fact that we will run out of oil sooner rather than later.” I responded that “running out of oil has nothing to do with science.” She responded that obviously I did not believe in science. I made no reply, since the Kool-Aid was strong with her.

  4. Mike_C says:

    So my collection of local-chain grocery store bags, and Trader Joe’s state-specific bags, will soon become valuable collectors items? I must put them into the vault with the Beanie Babies, fidget spinners and other treasures.

    So “reusable bags” are now banned from most places in Massholia. And local ordinances have banned plastic bags. This leaves us with shitty brown paper bags. Yesterday I unintentionally caused a crisis by snagging an empty cardboard box (from the corn chips aisle) to put my purchases in. They had to call a manager who basically required me to testify under oath that I had obtained the box inside the store. That made it SAFE, you see. I understand what they’re getting at, but still…

    • Wirecutter says:

      What???!!! No pet rocks?

    • Frankenwelder says:

      Or Cabbage Patch Kids?

    • Brad_in_IL says:

      Mike_C … what part of mAssachusetts? I was a subject of The Peoples’ Republik for about 17 years … lived in the greater Lowell region, south of Nashua.

      • Mike_C says:


        For non-Massholes, this means extended western Boston suburbs. The practical upshot of this is that I am surrounded by plenty of over-credentialed people who are mortally certain that people who think like me are deplorable uneducated stupid racists. The problem with this comforting narrative is that I am as credentialed as they are, and I’m not white. (But I’m not a member of any permanent or eternal victim class, so not really a POC either. It’s a strange, strange Clown World. Honk honk.)

  5. Roger Feist says:

    I stopped reading the article after the first paragraph. These things are ALWAYS A SCAM! Always, always, always. Follow the money. Follow the money. Follow the money. Environment my lily white ass. It’s always about the money! EVERYTHING that happens in this world is about MONEY!

  6. Handy Andy says:

    The single use plastic bags aren’t being accepted at the grocery stores for recycling anymore due to Coronavirus. They’re only good dog poop anymore.

    Single use bags were never acceptable for the general blue bin recycling. Here in Chicago area, they have to stop the recycling machinery twice a day to cut off the plastic bags that gum up the works. We have a machine like what was featured on “Build It Bigger”. It tries to separate the recycleables with minimal human involvement. No idea how effective it is in practice.

  7. nonncom says:

    When I was a kid living with my grandparents, we used to go shopping on Friday evening, every 3 weeks or so….since we had 8 people living in the ol farmhouse, and usually 12 or 15 at the table on Sunday, we carried our groceries out in the cardboard boxes that the stock for the store came in….25 pound bags of flour and rice didn’t really need a bag….milk and eggs we had on the farm….most of the rest were canned goods and staples like Crisco, cereal, and bread….we only bought what we couldn’t grow, or was out of season….no plastic bags in those days….cardboard boxes were reusable, though, if they didn’t get used on the farm….

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